The nations of the 2014 Sochi Olympics were introduced on Friday night at the Opening Ceremony, which means the viewing public was introduced to a multitude of new winter couture. Some of it looked fantastic. Some of it was worn by Shaun White. Won’t you join us for the best and worst dressed teams of the 2014 Winter Olympics?
The ornate blue and gold coat, tall boots, and fur hat worn by Kazakhstan's flagbearer fit with the pageantry of the Parade of Nations. Good on you, Kazakhstan!
Germany’s colorful team jackets also caught the attention of the Web. Some saw a subtle statement in the bold colors. "Good on Germany for the rainbow Opening Ceremony outfits, whether it's a political message or not," @maguirerin wrote. (AP Photo/Petr David Josek)
Sometimes simplicity wins. And while part of us wants to label this “lab technician chic,” it’s a sharp, clean look, and a marked improvement over their look from London, in which it appeared they were being inducted into the candy cane hall of fame.
WORST: CHIENSE TAIPEI
From a distance, we assumed they had just gotten back from choir practice. These floor-length coats are neither practical nor attractive, unless of course you’re planning on doing some house painting or joining a cult for the winter.
We want to squeeze them into all of our gin and tonics.
Once again, the Ukrainians wore jackets that appeared to show their flag under an electron microscope, and once again they were some of the most distinctive kits during the Opening Ceremony. Distinctive in a good way. Not in, like, a wearing-shorts-to-the-Winter Games way.
The Bermudans always do this at the Winter Olympics, baring their chicken legs to the elements. They’re like a dude who shows up to a game at Lambeau Field shirtless because “that’s how I roll, dude" before his nipples literally freeze off.
Plus they resemble a British boarding school for NBC pages.
WORST: CAYMAN ISLANDS
…the Cayman Islands, who decided to dress like you in the fall when you have to take out the trash at night. They not only decided to rock the shorts, but completed the look with flip-flops.
We wish you all the frostbite. All of it.
There’s a way for an island nation to represent at the Winter Games. Allow Tonga to show the way.
The warm-climate country of Tonga made its debut at the Sochi Olympics, but its athletes' palm tree-emblazoned coats—a nod to the country's Polynesian locale—struck some as more appropriate for the Summer Games.
Sweden be Swedening. Finland looked like they were wearing hoodies. So we’ll give the Scandinavian crown to Norway for an outfit that’s OK but mostly for their spiffy silver hats that’ll probably be hipsterwear by the end of the Games. (Although maybe, you know, they should have gone with gold?)
Look, we really don’t know all that much about Iran, but apparently they allowed Richard Sherman and Russell Wilson to design their costumes. Or they're completely colorblind. One of the two.
The Russians could have walked out in leather chaps and "We Heart USA" T-shirts and would still have gotten a thunderous ovation as the host nation. Instead, they got gussied up: The Russians rocked a Father Christmas look that makes us think everything in life should be fur-lined. Even leather chaps.
Oh, man, they finally added paintball to the Winter Olympics!?
Considering the last time we saw them, the Canadians were wearing their tuxedos (aka denim jackets), anything was going to be a step up. But we really dig this Mountie-like uniform, if only because we now know who to go to should Olympic Park be overrun by beavers. (As if that would happen … the packs of stray dogs would obviously thwart the beaver invasion before it reached humanity.)
Bonus points for what seems like a placeholder for a championship belt. Oh, never change, Canadian Winter Games hubris...
C’mon, you know it.
First off, it looked like they were wearing polka dots inside the stadium. Second, the sweaters themselves look like something your senile aunt knitted while binge listening to Toby Keith albums.
But most importantly: The turtlenecks … the high-priced preppy sweaters … the white pants.
Spain decided to skip the winter parkas and instead donned jaunty blazers and berets.
With a nod to the winter weather, Belarus athletes looked jolly in their red and white hats topped with red pompoms. Adorable.
The Belgian team received praise for knowing how to sport the athletic look. "Belgium with the nicest tracksuit so far," one commenter wrote.
The country of Kyrgyzstan stood out for its topper selection. "Kyrgyzstan wins gold for Men's Freestyle Hat Wearing."